'Fearless,' 'pride' run deep in Wolf Country

By Jay Bell
This article was published May 19, 2017 at 4:00 a.m.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the ninth in a series of articles spotlighting alumni of local high schools, colleges and universities as they prepare for this month's commencement ceremonies.

PEARCY -- The stories and renown of distinguished military servicemen brought honor to the Lake Hamilton School District as alumni carry their Lake Hamilton pride throughout the state and the rest of the world.

Lake Hamilton High School will recognize members of the graduating class of 2017 tonight at Bank of the Ozarks Arena. The graduation ceremony is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The "Fearless" tale of the life and death of U.S. Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Adam Brown has attracted international interest to Lake Hamilton. Eric Blehm wrote a book about Brown's life and the family worked to negotiate film rights for a motion picture about Brown.

Brown was known for his extravagant exploits in life and is known for his service and sacrifice in death. He was killed in active duty in Afghanistan in 2010.

The annual Adam Brown Shamrock Run/Walk 5K is held on the Lake Hamilton campus and continues to honor his legacy each March with on-site and virtual participants throughout the world. Proceeds from the race benefit local nonprofit organizations.

Lake Hamilton is also the alma mater of Lt. Col. Shannon Beebe, a West Point graduate who was killed in a plane crash in Fauqier County, Va., in 2011 at the age of 42. He was an internationally recognized expert on human security, a key figure in the development of the unified command for Africa and held numerous leadership positions in the U.S. Army.

Beebe co-authored "The Ultimate Weapon is No Weapon: Human Security and the New Rules of War and Peace," was an adjunct professor at George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs in Washington and was a frequent guest lecturer on Africa and human security. He logged more than 1,000 hours of backcountry flying in Alaska and Africa, across the Arctic Circle and the equator. He was featured by numerous outlets, including the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, BBC, Fox News, Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, National Geographic, NBC News, The New York Times and The Washington Post.


"To be a graduate of Lake Hamilton means that I am part of one of the best schools in the state, part of the biggest school in Garland County, but most of all I'm part of a community that cares for their school enough to support it with their taxes and their volunteering for anything that's needed," said state Rep. Bruce Cozart, R-District 24.

"I was honored to be elected to serve on the Lake Hamilton School Board from 1991-2001. It was a very rewarding experience that I will cherish always. I will always be in debt to my alma mater."

Cozart said he enjoyed the country setting of the school where he met his wife, Deborah, during their junior year. He served as the class president of his senior class and he said he enjoys seeing former classmates convene every five years from throughout the country.

"I was extremely blessed to have a fairly small graduating class of 77 seniors, which made it possible for everyone to know each other and be friends," Cozart said.

Cozart served as president of the school board as he continued his career in commercial and residential construction. He was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2011.

"Lake Hamilton had and still has the best teachers in the state," Cozart said. "That means that I was able to learn from the best and be prepared for everything in life that I set my mind to do. The agriculture/FFA program was one of my favorite courses that I participated in for three years. This was a great jump start for the construction field that I have been very blessed to work in for many years.

"Without the caring and constant push for improvement from my teachers, I would never have been prepared to serve as an Arkansas state legislator. And I thank each and every one of them for their efforts to help us achieve the best we could."


Another notable alumni to return to Lake Hamilton and serve on the school board is Tiffany McCain, a former basketball star for the Kentucky Wildcats and the Orlando Miracle in the WNBA. She was unopposed in the 2015 annual school election.

McCain was elected team captain in her final three seasons for the Wildcats and made the SEC Academic Honor Roll four straight seasons. She holds the Kentucky record for games played, 122, and ranked sixth with 1,445 career points. She now works as a pharmacy manager.

Another former standout athlete for the Wolves was recently portrayed in the movie, "Greater," about Arkansas Razorbacks walk-on Brandon Burlsworth, who became an All-American and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL. Burlsworth died in a car crash just 11 days after the draft.

Grant Garrett was a more high profile recruit than Burlsworth and lettered each season from 1995-1998 after they redshirted in 1994. Grant Cook, a former Razorbacks offensive lineman from Jonesboro, played Garrett in the movie.


A popular figure in both Razorbacks and Wolves sports is Lanny Beavers, the voice of Lake Hamilton football and basketball. Beavers said he maintains close connections with the Lake Hamilton community.

"It was very good to leave Pulaski Academy, who I was doing radio for, to come home," Beavers said.

"It is the 'school of champions,'" Beavers added. "Who wouldn't want to be part of Lake Hamilton?"

Beavers graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, became a professional survey manager for Garver Engineers in Little Rock and serves as governor of the Arkansas Society of Professional Surveyors. He owns Southern Sports Media, which operates the websites Fearless Friday and Hogville.

"It's pride, mainly, to be from Lake Hamilton," Beavers said. "I do a lot of television also. I always talk about my alma mater. It's a sense of pride, especially the way the school has grown since I went there."

Local on 05/19/2017

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